Allahabad High Court grants relief to old woman in 12 year old service claim

The Allahabad High Court while granting relief to an old woman in a 12-Year-old service claim directed that the old woman be paid Rs 1,00,000/- (Rs One Lakh) towards her salary and cost of approaching the Court on two occasions.

A Single Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Smt Bhagonia Devi.

The Facts of the case is as follows:-

(a) The Petitioner was initially appointed as a part time Sewika (Peon) on 1.7.1971 at respondent Kanya Junior High School on a monthly fixed salary of Rs 15/-.

(b) The petitioner was appointed as a ‘Full Time Peon’ on a monthly fixed salary of Rs 165/- by an order of Assistant Balika Inspector School dated 14.5.1981.

(c) Despite the above referred order, she was not paid aforesaid amount of Rs165/- and paid only Rs15/- per month only till May, 1996 and thereafter said amount was also stopped.

(d) Further case of petitioner is that she was continuously working till filing of the petition in the year 2010 and thereafter also.

(e) Petitioner’s date of birth is 31.10.1956 and she was about 54 years when this writ petition was filed in the year 2010 and therefore has attained age of superannuation (i.e 60 years) in the year 2016.

(f) The petitioner has earlier approached the Court by filing a Writ Petition, with a prayer to pay Rs 165/- per month. It was disposed of by order dated 5.7.2007 with a direction to examine her case.

(g) In pursuance of above order, claim of the petitioner was examined, but it was rejected on ground that order dated 14.5.1981, whereby she was appointed as a ‘Full Time Peon’ was later on withdrawn on 6.4.1985, as it was not duly approved and further that it remained unchallenged.

Counsel for petitioner has reiterated above referred submissions that when the petitioner was adjusted on a full time post on a fixed pay of Rs.165/- per month, by order dated 14.5.1981 there was no reason for concerned respondent not to grant her salary. Instead of pointing out an error in aforesaid order, it ought to have been sent to B.S.A for approval.

By the order dated 14.5.1981, petitioner was adjusted to a fixed salary of Rs165/- per month, but it was not approved by subsequent order dated 6.4.1985.

According to record, the aforesaid order dated 6.4.1985 was not challenged even in this writ petition according to petitioner she has worked continuously.

The Court observed that,

Be that as it may, from materials available on records, it could not be disputed that the petitioner has worked as a ‘Peon’ for a very long time. Initially, she was paid a fixed salary of Rs15/- per month and later on she was directed to pay a fixed salary of Rs165/- per month. Petitioner was never paid a salary of Rs165/- per month and her fixed salary of Rs15/- per month was stopped after 1996. The respondents have taken a hyper technical approach which is against the concept of a Welfare State.

The respondents have not denied that petitioner has worked as a Peon, though the Court opined that judgments relied upon by counsel for petitioner are distinguishable to the extent that petitioner has failed to prove that she was appointed in accordance with due procedure. Still when the petitioner has worked, therefore, she is entitled to be paid salary for it. There is no need to challenge subsequent order dated 6.4.1985, as initial order dated 14.5.1981 is still in existence, therefore, if it is considered that petitioner has worked till she attained age of 60 years i.e upto year 2016 as well as considering her case, that she was paid only Rs15/- per month till 1996, and no salary was paid thereafter, therefore, her salary if calculated @ Rs165/- per month from 14.5.1981 it would be Rs 69300/- (for 35 years).

The petitioner has approached the Court twice and the petition is pending for the last 12 years as well as considering that petitioner is a woman and has worked as a Peon in a school, therefore, in the interest of justice, the Court disposed of the petition with a direction that the petitioner be paid Rs 1,00,000/- (Rs One Lakh) towards her salary and cost of approaching the Court on two occasions with further direction that she will not raise any other demand.

Aforesaid amount shall be paid by the State being a Welfare State within four weeks, the Court ordered.

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